On Sunday 19th March, We travelled to Rafah area of Gaza to remember Rachel , whose 9th Anniversary fell on March 16th. Rachel was a 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on 16 March 2003, while undertaking nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition. We first attended an olive planting ceremony attended by Palestinian schoolchildren and organised by the Ministry of Sport and Youth. A speech was read by Nathan, on behalf of the International Solidarity Movement which included excerpts from Rachel’s letters home in which she portrayed her admiration and love of the Palestinian people. The school children sang song’s and held up posters of Rachel and messages of solidarity.
In the afternoon, we went to the Rachel Corrie Children’s Centre, also in Rafah.
After Rachel’s untimely death in March 2003, the Union of Health Work Committees named their clinic and children’s center after her. The Children’s Center is dedicated to building relationships between the isolated children and youth in Rafah and their peers in other countries.